Young Filipina astrophysicist-in-training accepted to prestigious US universities for PhD

AN ABUYOG, Leyte native who won the global science competition Junior Breakthrough Prize in 2016 has received multiple acceptance letters from several prestigious universities in the United States (US) for a doctoral program.

Hillary Diane Andales, who is currently studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), shared her excitement about the admissions in a Facebook post, fulfilling a dream she has had since she was five years old.

“I’m closer to my dream of getting a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics! This dream started when I was five years old when I learned that more than a million Earths could fit inside the sun,” Andales said.

“About ten years later, I learned about the Hubble Deep Field. In that image, I saw the many thousands of galaxies lurking in a tiny patch of the sky, each galaxy home to billions of stars, each star likely circled by a planet — by a faraway world that could be similar or different from ours. From those small moments grew a lifelong wonder about the scale of the universe,” she added.

Andales has received acceptance letters from several Ivy League universities, such as Yale University and Columbia University, for Ph.D. programs in Astrophysics and Astronomy. She has also been admitted to other top-tier universities, including Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia and Boston University.

Andales said she is still in the process of deciding which university to choose and will make a final decision by March. All of the admission offers she received came with full scholarships and research grants. (EKV)